Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Review: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: May 19th, 2015
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from publisher **I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy's suicide, she figures she's in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn't take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.
As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks...and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father's murder.

When I saw Scarlett Undercover being offered for review I was immediately interested for two reasons. One Scarlett Undercover sounds perfect for fans of Veronica Mars and two Scarlett is a Muslim American. There was no way I was passing up a book that has a POC as the MC. As we all know that is so rare in YA. Scarlett Undercover is a great hidden gem of a book that I think will appease a variety of readers.

Scarlett is a PI. After her father's murder years ago, a murder that has gone unsolved, she's taken it upon herself to discover clues about it as well as help those in her city. Scarlett takes what she thinks is going to be an easy case from a nine year old girl, but turns out to be much much more. That call leads Scarlett onto clues and people that bring up details on her fathers murder.

I'm going to take a page out of my friend, Missy's, reviewing format and do this review a little differently than I normally do.

  • Scarlett is a great voice. She's clever, witty and sassy. Scarlett kind of has this old timey way of talking. You know, how PI's talked in the like the 30's-50's? Yea, Scarlett totally has that down. Plus she's totally kick-ass and unafraid to say or do whatever. 
  • The relationship and connections Scarlett has are the bomb. She only has her sister as family she has left. But that's only blood family. Scarlett has so many people looking out for her. As well as her best friend(secret(not so secret) crush). Scarlett has a really good read on most situations she finds herself in, which means she can get her way and what she needs by using her smart mouth(I don't mean that meanly). She's got an in everywhere. Which makes her a great PI. 
  • I love the how the story progressed. For such a short book I got worried that once revelations start getting revealed that there'd be this big rush to get to the next unlocked clue. But nope, I didn't feel like any secret or situation was overlooked. Latham did a really good job on introducing a few important characters that would explain the situation and thus would lead Scarlett onto figuring out the next clue. There was a really easy flow that lead Scarlett through solving the case. 
  • Latham does a fantastic job on incorporating Muslim lore and religion into the story. Scarlett is Muslim American but she's kind of confused on where she stands since her parents deaths. Scarlett is a very smart girl and of course has an understanding of her religious history but what this case teaches her is there is a lot more to it. And a lot more to her families history. There's supernatural elements that were really interesting to learn about. 
  • As you all know romance is my thing. I love me a perfect ship in any book I'm reading. Scarlett  Undercover barely touches on anything romantic and I didn't miss it. I was so caught up in Scarlett solving the case and her father's murder that I'm really happy to see a romance didn't over take what was important to this story. Sure I was totally shipping Scarlett and Deck but it wasn't my main focus. 
  • As far as I know Scarlett Undercover is a stand alone, which YAY, but I definitely wouldn't mind seeing more of Scarlett in the future. Which might not be the case, so my only little issue is that I would have liked to see another twenty or thirty pages. Like I mentioned I don't think the story felt rushed, but I would have liked to see some of the details flushed out a bit more. As well as a bit more after the conflict is resolved. It wasn't an abrupt ending, but I missed getting more on Scarlett's feelings. 

Scarlett Undercover is a really fast thrilling read. It's something unique in the flood of YA books out there. Diversity is always a win and when it's done so well and interesting it makes it really easy for me to add a new book to my book pushing pile. 

Happy reading!



  1. This sounds fun! As soon as I read the blurb Veronica Mars came to mind as it did to you as well. So glad you enjoyed it. I don't read much YA (I know, I know, broken record about that) but this sounds really fun. Adding it to my TBR. That's what you hear crying in the background.

  2. I swear you read my mind with books - everything I am wanting to read, you review and love! I am so excited to see how An Ember in the Ashes goes - we were about in the same place this morning!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. I was so excited once I’d heard there was going to be a Muslim heroine– FINALLY. Glad you liked this book, I’m really looking forward to reading this one! Great review :D